Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Politics and Government: Political Science

Committee Chair

Michael Hendricks


This thesis utilizes quantitative methods to evaluate the relationship between the level of development of state postal delivery systems and the number of drug sales originating on dark web cryptomarkets. I use data from the United Nations Universal Postal Union on state postal system operating expenditures to convey postal system development and compare it to the country-of-origin and acceptable countries-of-destination listed on cryptomarket drug postings. The cryptomarket drug postings being used were collected by previous scholars from a leak on Agora from 2014-2015. This dataset contains 96,286 observations of cryptomarket-based drug transactions. This paper expected to find that moderately developed countries with moderately strong postal systems have the highest proportion of cryptomarket-based drug shipments due to a lapse in developing security measures compared to postal infrastructure. This, however, was not supported by the data which can likely be attributed to the unreliability of the available data. The findings here and potential future iterations have potential implications for drug enforcement policy and contribute to the scholarship on drug trafficking, cryptomarkets, postal delivery systems, cybercrime, and international security.


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